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End Of Year Countdown - Day 1

Thursday, November 01, 2012

November and December can be THE most difficult months to lose weight, maintain weight and just stay healthy.

We begin by eating leftover Halloween candy.
Then we start trying recipes for Thanksgiving, and baking ahead for the family get together.
Then we start baking "gifts" to give away for Christmas presents.
Then we find that everywhere we go, offices are full of seasonal treats, ours for the tasting.
You may be eating out more often, having company staying with you and baking and cooking for them.

You've probably come a long way since last year's holiday celebrations. Don't lose it all now. Don't give up the rewards of all your hard work, planning and discipline.

I'm preaching to myself here, really. Because I need to hear it, need to say it, need to write it. Need to heed it!

So here is the warning sign of the times.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFATFIRST77 11/20/2012 12:59AM

    I needed this reminder! Thank you, well said emoticon

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DS9KIE 11/2/2012 10:59PM


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CHRISTINASP 11/2/2012 5:31PM

    Very good points. Thank you!

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    I'm already struggling but learned some valuable lessons over Halloween that I hope I apply to Thanksgiving and Xmas. The main thing is to make careful choices and only splurge on what you really love.

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AMARILYNH 11/1/2012 1:51PM

    Great advice for all of us!

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JEANNE229 11/1/2012 12:34PM

    Beautifully put!

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PJSTIME 11/1/2012 9:54AM

    Oh Karen I so needed to be reminded of this. The candy jar at work this morning is overfilled with halloween candy that everyone has brought in so they don't have it at home.

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TUFFYBIRD 11/1/2012 9:14AM

    Great advice Karen; at this time of year I think we can all use the reminder,

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HEALTHY4ME 11/1/2012 9:06AM

    Thanks even though our thanksgiving is over, halloween candy is here, the little bars that are left I don't like so hopefully that isn't as much a temptation, sorry reeses pb cups.

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GABY1948 11/1/2012 9:03AM

    GREAT reminder, Karen, thanks for sharing!

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MADAMES 11/1/2012 8:57AM

    Great reminder!! Thanks.

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KAYYVAUGHN 11/1/2012 8:44AM

    Thanks for the reminder. It's difficult, but I'm trying.

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JUSTJO66 11/1/2012 8:38AM

    Great reminder. It seems every year I make a commitment to NOT gain
over the holidays and then fall short of that goal. This year I want to
be at least 5 lbs. less on Jan. 1st.
Here's to the COUNT down !!

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ZEEDRA 11/1/2012 8:29AM

    I can't believe we're on the countdown of another year!!!!
Thanks for eye-opener.
Good luck with it; good luck everybody else; good luck to me!
Oh....and if luck doesn't work...I guess we'll have to try work itself! :)

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FISHINGLADY66 11/1/2012 8:21AM

    Great Blog Karen. I needed to be reminded of this also. Thanks for bringing this to my attention again. ((Hugs)). Have a Healthy and Happy November.

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

My recent physical exam made me aware of many health-related things.

One thing, that I remember thinking EACH TIME I see my doctor, which is only when I have a check-up, is that OBESITY is a real problem, EVERYWHERE.

Every nurse or tech person that drew my blood, took my vitals, etc. etc. in the clinic where I go, is OVERWEIGHT. Not just by 10 or 15 lbs either. A LOT more.

Also, as I looked around the waiting room, almost every person there was in the same shape.

If I want to feel really thin, I can just sit in the clinic for a while and watch all the patients AND the EMPLOYEES, because they are all so overweight.

My doctor is the exception. As I wrote in a previous blog, he's very thin. He told me, during our long talk about health and exercise, that America is DEFINITELY going to lose the battle against obesity.

He, like me, notices how often food is shoved in our face. On tv and in person. He says he brings yogurt and fruit or some other light lunch to the clinic everyday. And if there is a meeting of any kind, he stays away from the food table, which is ALWAYS there, always loaded.

It's a battle. And only the most dedicated warriors will win.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLEE1945 10/6/2012 9:38AM

    I have had the same experience. When I go places, I notice how overweight everyone seems to be. I subscribe to a blog called "Summer Tomato", the gal who does it is in her 30's and very food conscious. Well, she just wrote about gaining 5 pounds, inadvertently, just by a small change of lifestyle. She writes about it very well, and I recommend her website. What really strikes me is how just little habits really add up to weight gain.

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ZEEDRA 10/5/2012 4:48PM

    Orodeo73: Love your idea.

Once again, I regret my too-long (much too-long) reply before this...telling you what you already know! :(

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ZEEDRA 10/5/2012 11:57AM

    Oh, there is just so much to say about this. It's a different world and there are all kinds of things written about metabolic syndrome, food addiction, problems with how wheat is grown and animals fed and hence how these things are contributing to poor health. And then there is the astronomical amount of pop (soda) consumed from toddlers on up.
I have a very obese friend in her 60's who buys pop by the cases. I have a diet Coke or Pepsi sometimes when I go to Swiss Chalet (about once every two or three months or less). Even those of us with some bad habits can still do fairly well when we throw in some good habits. Ha!

And convenience foods: it's not all bad but many people have gotten away from cooking from scratch and I'm one of them, except...most of the time I think I've struck a good balance except for money spent.

My mother was a CNA (now called LPN) and she always said that those years of working without lunch breaks or sometimes without any breaks ruined her health (including bowel habits). But I questioned early on the switch from an eight hour day to a 12 hour day for nursing staff. I had a desk job for the most part but I would have been happy with five hours instead of eight. I think the 12-hour shifts have ruined many workers' health and for what? A few extra days to work at home!!! I think even for a family it's better to be able to have more time at home on a daily basis. I'm sure there are different opinions. Sometimes there are no choices but I think with the nurses, it was their choice.

Now they're talking about hormonal and/or thyroid problems with BPA--from mothers to babies, etc.etc.

I feel very sad for the people who are hooked on cheap carbs as a form of sustenance. I'm hooked myself but eat healthy food around this bad habit.

Jamie Oliver had a show on TV where he tried to change a whole town in the U.S. that had a high percentage of overweight people, especially children. It was an uphill battle for him to talk school officials, cafeteria people, parents, etc. into accepting his ideas and changes.

Well....I'm off to get a coffee at MacDonald's and perhaps a little chicken fajita...good coffee and not a bad lunch (I'll have salad for supper).

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KAYYVAUGHN 10/5/2012 10:04AM

    At buffets, I really notice overweight people. They will have 2 plates full of food. Don't they realize that they can go back for more. They don't need that much food at one time.
I start with a salad or soup. Then I get a vegetable plate. Sometimes I get a small drumstick and take the skin off. A yam or watermelon is my dessert, although those homemade cobblers really look delicious.

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FISHINGLADY66 10/4/2012 9:44PM

    This is so true. I have noticed all the heavy people, everywhere. In the news, on TV, all the people they show on the streets are very heavy. It's very sad that food is the number one thing on everyone's mind. You can't drive down a city street or on a highway without seeing signs for places to eat. Eating too much of the fat, grease, and sugary foods will kill more people than most diseases. Thanks for sharing this.

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KICK-SS 10/4/2012 6:58PM

    The other day I was at Costco and I started noticing the people and their shopping carts and the tremendous amount of overweight and obese people among them. And.. sadly, the more obese were the ones with the trays of muffins, cinnamon rolls, breads and all that stuff. The thinner ones had the meat, veggies, fruits, etc. It was quite an insight.

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-LINDA_S 10/4/2012 11:21AM

    Yes, it's very sad. I would think it would be different between nurses in doctors' offices and those in hospitals, but I have no personal knowledge. You'd think they'd find a way to keep the healthcare personnel healthy so they could be better workers and not get sick or burned out. But I guess it's shrot term profit they're after, as usual.

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BELTONWALKER67 10/4/2012 9:54AM

    I think it's because we have it so easy now. I don't remember overweight people when I was growing up. If we wanted foods we had to work for it. Want milk...go milk a cow. Want a veggie...go to the garden and get it..then wash & prepare it. No McDonalds or Burger King back then! On a recent visit to my old home town, with my granddaughter, I made a comment about how my best friend lived about 5 miles from where I grew up and I use to get off the school bus at her house and then walk home. She thought that was unreal!! Course, those country roads are all gone now and replaced with four lane highways. Progress sometimes brings not so wise lifestyle choices!

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    Yep, when I worked as a nurse I was thin and the exception to the rule. I was almost always the thinnest nurse in the room. Menopause and medical problems changed all that. So it is more important than ever that I eat right.

Even at my weight when I go to the grocery store and shopping I am often one of the thinner women there if the teens are in school. Everyone is overweight now and lots are obese.

I feel I must defend nurses though as I am privy to what goes on in these clinics and hospitals. Nurses don't often don't get the opportunity to eat right. I probably can count on one hand the times that I got my full lunch break and/or break. You have to grab something and go which leads to portable, bad, vending machine choices. I would take a healthy lunch and have no time to eat it . You can't eat anything with a spoon or fork or even sit down to eat it. You can't eat in the nurse's station and you have to answer the phone and patient call lights even if you could. You have to grab a minute and wolf something down. You are lucky if you can find a piece of fruit unless you brought it yourself and then there is no time to peel it. I was thin because I was in charge and couldn't even find the time to grab something. I had trouble finding time to use the restroom and I'm not exaggerating. I sometimes had to pee hovering over a dirty hopper because we didn't have a rest room in ICU and there was no one available to relieve me. No one can go 14 hours without peeing but I worked plenty of 14 hour days without anything to eat - thus my thinness.

Your doctor is probably the least busy person in his office and I'm being serious. He comes in for 5 to 10 minutes to talk to a patient and do his otoscope, B.P. taking, hand holding thing while the rest of the work is done by his staff who run themselves to death. The staff answers the phone, makes appointments, sets up medical tests and does them, does your exam, etc. And from my personal experience while the staff is doing this the doctor is often in his office resting and eating his lunch. Or not even there. Sometimes his lunch is not healthy either. There are plenty of fat doctors. I knew one who would eat an entire bag of potato for lunch. Doctors are on call a lot so they have to pace themselves and most of them do or burn out. The delegate as much as they can. You had a long talk with your doctor but I bet his nurse doesn't have time for long talks and probably works through her lunch a lot. I worked with some really obese nurses who were actually very physically fit due to the 12-16 hour works days. And, 14 hours days happened a lot. It's pretty difficult to take enough healthy food for 10 - 16 hours even if you had time to eat it. They don't provide a lot of room for coolers. LOL. At meetings my former employer served healthy food and it was always consumed. Veggie trays and fruit trays were really popular and always preferred over the dry cheese sandwich.

This is why there is a nursing shortage. You destroy your own health taking care of others. It's a huge burn out job. Been there, done that. emoticon

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GABY1948 10/4/2012 7:42AM

    This is so true! I notice this EVERYWHERE...and especially children...they are all FAR heavier than we were as children. It is sad...but it's not going to go anywhere with all advertising and prepared foods geared toward the MIGHTY DOLLAR...they don't care about people as long as they make the money! Truly sad.

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ORODEO73 10/4/2012 7:41AM

    Start small. Start with yourself and family then expand by sharign your results. One person you touch could each touch another. Its slow but its a start!

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    Very true but maybe we can help change that one person at a time. People have to realize there is a problem and want to change. I'm working with my family to teach them how to make healthier choices.

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Lab Results for Routine Physical

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

All that research and hard work has paid off for me.

This time last year my cholesterol was 210. It had NEVER been that high before. After all my research, and yaking about it constantly with all my SP friends (Thank you all for being so nice about it, lol) I figured out what worked.

Now my Total Cholesterol is 167, HDL 90, LDL 69, Triglycerides 38! I'm a happy camper.

The formula was simple, once I figured it out:

AVOID SUGAR and STARCH as much as possible;
Eat all the raw (or very lightly cooked/roasted/sauteed) veggies I can.

That's it. That's my Way Of Eating.

I still eat meat. Just not every day and not every meal of any day.
I eat a fairly high fat diet with real butter and lots of olive oil and a steak or pork ribs now and then.

The only thing a little off was my Thyroid. It's a little slow. Not much. Doc wants me to re-test in 3 months. No dietary remedies for that, unfortunately. It's hereditary.

Hey, can I blame that for taking so long to lose weight? LOL. NO. That happens because now and then I stray into pastry or pizza, lol. I'm not perfect. But I'm pretty sure you already knew that.


PS: I also monitor my Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure at home every day and I get a fasting cholesterol panel at my local pharmacy every 3-4 months. I think those numbers are important. How do you know how you're doing if you only get those tested once a year, or less? Hmmm?

I'll be 64 this month. Have to get it right.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEILIE2 10/10/2012 11:40AM

you have done so well!!!

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AGENTMNA 10/4/2012 6:15PM

    I love your simplified way of eating! emoticon

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CHRISTINASP 10/4/2012 9:49AM

    "AVOID SUGAR and STARCH as much as possible;
Eat all the raw (or very lightly cooked/roasted/sauteed) veggies I can.

That's it. That's my Way Of Eating."

Oh Karen, I'm sorry. I hate to point this out to you but.... You can never write a diet book - bestseller using only two lines! emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 10/4/2012 6:22AM

    You are doing great because you are taking charge of your health. Your results are very good. Everybody has something to work on or we would not be normal.


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NOMIS1 10/3/2012 9:36PM

    How wonderful.

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ZEEDRA 10/3/2012 9:00PM


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    Good job!!! You are doing great. Congratulations on getting it right.

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KICK-SS 10/3/2012 8:18PM

    Your numbers look really good! Keep up the good work.

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CHERYLL1949 10/3/2012 7:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GABY1948 10/3/2012 7:40PM

    emoticon I'm so happy for you! And me...cause I try to follow everything you do so I have more to work at...my fat is always low and I think it makes my body crave it...either way I am still sugar free (day 33 or something) and feel better than I have since even when I first lost all my weight so thank you again and emoticon

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PJSTIME 10/3/2012 6:59PM

    Great results on your checkup. All that change in your eating has paid off. I like my pizza too.

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TUFFYBIRD 10/3/2012 6:31PM

    Great results on your eating/exercise plan. emoticon

Personally, I don't monitor more often than once a year my because my cholesterol is consistently good and my BP low - a month ago 120/72 - so I'm not concerned. If I had any warning signs, though, it would be a different story.

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3G1RLS4ME 10/3/2012 6:12PM

    Congrats on good cholesterol #'s

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RAPUNZEL53 10/3/2012 6:07PM

  emoticon emoticon

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KNYAGENYA 10/3/2012 6:05PM

    Congrats! I hope you can continue it.

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EXERCISE! Your health prescription. (Video link)

Friday, September 28, 2012

I sent this email to my family and friends:

I had my yearly check-up yesterday and got to visit with my doctor for quite a while. Hes a runner. Self-admitted running addict. Hes about my age! (I'm 64 this October) He runs every day. Every single day.

He had plantar fasciitis, went to a podiatrist who told him he had to stop running for 4 6 weeks. He said Sure. The podiatrist looked at him and said You arent going to stop running, are you? No, he didnt stop. He said after about 2 YEARS, the pain just went away. So you can see hes definitely addicted, lol.

Hes 6 and weighs 165. Works at it hard and finds it hard to stick with 2000 cal. Per day, but does it. He said he practices portion control and counts every calorie. Still has 1 scoop of Bluebell ice cream every night, measured carefully. (He says Doctors are people too, meaning not perfect, lol.)

The point of all this about my doctor is hes dedicated to being healthy and to exercise and weight control. He told me to watch this video:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo By then, he knew what I was trying to do to stay healthy, was really interested in my swimming and my recumbent bike. His best friend had a hip replacement and goes on long bike rides for exercise because the bike is good for hip problems.

This video is 9 minutes long, NOT boring, very well presented, with tons of info in a short time. You know most of it already because you already believe in exercise. The interesting part is, to improve your heart health, do 20 min. of exercise 5 days a week. To really, really improve your heart health a lot, do 30 min. of exercise 5 days a week. If you do more than 30 min. a day, 5 days a week, you begin to lose health benefits. Breaking the 30 min into 3 ten minute sessions, works just as well. Which helps me a lot because if I go too long at it, it bothers my hip.

Also, he told me that if I can sit still for a few minutes and get my blood pressure down to a good reading, Im ok. If you really have BP problems, you cant get it down, no matter how still you sit.

If I sit down, and take a long, slow, deep breath IN and a long, slow, deep breath of equal length/time OUT, 5 times, my BP is about 117/80. If I just plop down and take my BP it is sometimes in the high 130s. Try the breathing for yourself. Then you also do that breathing during the day, whenever you think about it and have a minute to spare. Eventually it becomes a reflex that keeps you from elevating your BP during stressful conversations, lol. (Mothers, husbands, kids, nosey neighbors...)

If I take the right supplements for vascular health, CoQ10, etc., and get to the point of that crucial 30 mins of exercise every day, my BP wont spike so high when I move around. So that is my new prescription.

I know you already exercise. The interesting part here is lots more is not always better. And on days when you dont have time to even go to the bathroom, you can get 10 minutes in here and there.

In the video it states research with a group of people who needed a stint in their heart. Half the group got the stint. Half the group followed the exercise prescription. At the end of a year, the exercise group had FEWER heart issues/events than the group that got the stint. What a deal!

Striving for excellent health and to be BETTER THAN BEFORE!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERYLL1949 10/1/2012 2:04PM

    I liked this! Thanks emoticon

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DS9KIE 9/30/2012 10:58PM

    great blog

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GABY1948 9/29/2012 7:41PM

    Another wonderful blog, Karen! Thanks as always...I am saving this one for future reference! Gaye

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KAYYVAUGHN 9/29/2012 6:19AM

    The video was helpful. I liked the doctor.

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JUDY1676 9/28/2012 7:19PM

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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FISHINGLADY66 9/28/2012 3:46PM

    I liked this video and your blog. Great information. Thank you for sharing it.

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    Sounds like you have a very good doctor.

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BIBS4664 9/28/2012 12:08PM

    Thanks for sharing. It was great!!

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MAMABUGAZ 9/28/2012 10:11AM

    I watched the video. You're right; it's not boring.

It is also very compelling. For years, although I occasionally got an exercise kick for a few weeks or even a few months, and, once, for a whole year, I mostly steadfastly resisted exercise, because, I often don't like to do it. In fact, I was actually somewhat proud that I was able to lose 60 pounds with mostly dietary changes and very little exercise.

However, as I lost weight and became more conscious of the benefits of weight loss, I realized that I was not reaping the additional benefits of exercise. And, as I eased into peri-menopause, maintaining the weight loss (which I am mostly, but not totally, doing) became more difficult.

I have added 30+ minutes exercise 3x per week. And, I've thought about doing some alternate exercise 3 additional days per week, but, haven't yet. However, thinking about it is the first step.

Thanks for getting me thinking!

~ Faith

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BELTONWALKER67 9/28/2012 8:54AM

    Great Blog & Video. Thanks for sharing. I, too, do the 10 minutes at a time and get through the day with the pursed lip breathing method recommended by my respiratory therapist. emoticon

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WOUBBIE 9/28/2012 8:52AM

    That was EXCELLENT! Thanks!

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CHRISTINASP 9/28/2012 8:51AM

    Thank you, very nice blog.
What you said about lots more of exercise not necessarily being helpful reminded me of this article, it was posted in one of the team forums last week:

Comment edited on: 9/28/2012 8:52:22 AM

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KKKAREN 9/28/2012 8:41AM

    Interesting about the 30 minute exercise threshold. I walk 60 minutes, 5 days a week for the calorie burn as well as health benefits. Sounds like you have a good Doctor!

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Optimism and donuts!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Twixt the optimist and pessimist
The difference is droll
The optimist sees the doughnut
But the pessimist sees the hole.

McLandburgh Wilson 1915

Just remember, when you do see the donut, don't eat it!



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FISHINGLADY66 9/27/2012 8:55PM

    Cute and so true. Thanks for the smile on my face.

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JENNY888 9/27/2012 6:42PM

    I love the Crullers. Don't know if I spelled it right. Luckily enough the stores don't have them often.

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GGMOM06 9/27/2012 2:36PM

    emoticon i love to make donut holes !

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NELLJONES 9/27/2012 12:40PM

    I think I love doughnuts. I haven't had one in so long I forget.

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CHRISTINASP 9/27/2012 11:43AM

    I didn't know doughnuts existed in 1915?! emoticon

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MADAMES 9/27/2012 11:22AM

    Very cute!!

emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/27/2012 11:15AM

    LOL. No problem for me. Doughnuts make me sick at my stomach. Too sweet.

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GABY1948 9/27/2012 9:34AM

    LOVE it! Love your answer better!

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TUFFYBIRD 9/27/2012 9:02AM


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NOMIS1 9/27/2012 7:32AM

    Very good. Thanks

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PJSTIME 9/27/2012 6:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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